You are not being fair to your body and health if you insist on not taking breakfast before setting out for the day’s work.
Contrary to the belief in some quarters that breakfast may not be necessary, especially for those watching their weight, a nutritionists say breakfast would actually be the most important meal of the day.
This view was supported by the American Dietetic Association. In a policy statement, the association says children who eat breakfast perform better in the classroom and on the playground, with better concentration, problem-solving skills, and eye-hand coordination.
Many studies have also shown that eating a healthy breakfast helps give an individual
A more nutritionally complete diet, higher in nutrients, vitamins and minerals
Improved concentration and performance in the classroom or the boardroom
More strength and endurance to engage in physical activity
Lower cholesterol levels
“You are breaking a fast, as the name implies, “says a nutritionist. “You’ve just come out of a fasting period of about eight hours so, you need to put something in your tummy so that the alimentary canal will have something to work on. It is very necessary, “she said.
Many studies, in both adults and children, have shown that breakfast eaters tend to weigh less than breakfast skippers.
Why? One theory suggests that eating a healthy breakfast can reduce hunger throughout the day, and help people make better food choices at other meals. While it might seem you could save calories by skipping breakfast, this is not an effective strategy. Typically, hunger gets the best of breakfast-skippers, and they eat more at lunch and throughout the day.
Another theory behind the breakfastweight control link implies that eating breakfast is part of a healthy lifestyle that includes making wise food choices and balancing calories with exercise. For example, consider the successful losers followed by the American Weight Control Registry, all of whom have lost at least 30 pounds and kept it off at least one year. Some 80% of the people in the Registry regularly eat breakfast (and also follow a calorie-controlled, low-fat diet).
A study of 4,326 children, aged 10-16, in England reported in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that children who miss morning meal are much more likely to develop chronic disease in adulthood . According to the report, 26.6% of boys and 38.6% of girls in the study skipped breakfast some or all of the time.
“We found that children who skip breakfast either occasionally or routinely are less fit, less active and more likely to be overweight or obese than those who always eat breakfast,” said lead author Dr Gavin Sandercock, a lecturer in clinical physiology at the University of Essex.
According to the American Dietetic Association, when an individual fails to eat breakfast, the hydrochloric acid in his stomach will want to work on something in the tummy and if it starts to work on the person’s intestinal walls, instead of food , it could result in some health problem or ailments such as ulcer.
Nigerian nutritionists recommend that Nigerians should make use of legumes which are in abundant in the country as a major source of their breakfast.
“Öur people don’t appreciate legumes and cereals, cowpeas, beans and so on. From these, you can make your pap akara and moimoin which i can tell you is a good combination. Take this with any fruit in season and a glass of water and you have yourself a good breakfast.
“You need something light for breakfast though this could be determined by your activities for the day. In other words, there may not be anything wrong with people who are involved in heavy manual work eating heavy food like eba or amala, if well combined.
“The most important thing is that we need to know what we are eating. Adolescents, for instance, need well nourished foods to become healthy adults as families must choose foods for this gopup carefully,”said the nutritionist who pleaded anonimity.
The exzperts also recommend that children should eat light breakfast. Children from six months should be given cereals and, if the parents can afford them, eggs. According to them, breakfast, like every other meal of the day, must be combined from the four nutritional groups – carbiohydrates, protein, fats and vitamins.
For pregnant women, experts recommend they should eat normally. They are also allowed to eat a little extra and should go for quality more than the quantity.
Take it from the experts: Make your breakfast rich and nutritious. You don’t need foreign foods to achieve this. Nigerian foods could actually be the best if you combine them well.!
So are you still thinking of starting the day on an empty stomach?